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Can You Get a Tech Job Without a Computer Science Degree?

Team of Programmers

It is true that today the sphere of information technology cannot help attracting more and more young people. You have certainly heard some breathtaking stories about someone’s friend, or brother (sister), or son (daughter) who chose to study computer science, got a diploma, was offered jobs at several coolest IT-companies, and who is now making very good money and plans to open his own business, and the like.

However, these stories make you remember that you are not studying computer science. It is not that you do not like your major, whatever it is. It is just that you would love to be engaged into IT-sphere, but somehow you have managed to convince yourself that it is not possible unless you graduate from your college or university with a CS degree. Nevertheless, Google’s news and novelties continue catching your eye. Unconsciously you memorize all those terms which are so normal for programmers or software developers, but sound so strange for other people. Besides, you definitely know what a “bug” is, and you just cannot keep your temper when you see it on another website.

Again and again one of your inner voices tells you that you could perform not worse (but even better) than guys who study computer science for four years and longer if you had more knowledge and practice. But it seems to be too late to change your mind and try to go for a probably completely different course. Who cares about your regrets and your desire to give up on your current education, turn over a new leaf and get a tech job finally? Right you are, nobody really cares, but it is you who should!

3 Great Reasons Why You Can Do It (Plus Free Advice on How to Do It)

Girl with Laptop

Do stories about successful programmers with a CS degree discourage you? Greg Neustaetter, who became the senior product manager at Egnyte, may sound more inspiring. If you have never heard about Egnyte, you should know that this is a widely-known cloud file sharing company which provides content collaboration and governance to many organizations all around the world. Among their partners there are Google and Microsoft. However, let’s return to Greg.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and he took an internship at the company while studying at Wesleyan University. He learnt to build demo websites. Egnyte’s product manager suddenly left and Greg was appointed to this position. The interview I took this info from dates back to 2014 and claims that at the time he had been for that career for more than 10 years. He admitted that, of course, he did not have four years to absorb loads of new things and acquire the necessary skills, so his start was quite tough. But his payoff was worth it.

Why can you take the same road?

Your Reasons #1: You Like It and You Want to Learn More

Many IT specialists nowadays agree on the fact that you need much more than just a degree to be a true and sought-after professional. The degree can be easily overweighed by relevant experience, creativity and passion. It means that if you feel you are really interested in the subject, you should constantly enrich your knowledge and upgrade your skills. So, take special courses (they cost nothing or almost nothing on-line), read books, get in touch with your friends who are studying computer science. And remember that nothing is impossible when you really want it.

Your Reasons #2: Your Current Education Will Stand in a Very Good Stead

Knowledge is power. Although you can never predict when exactly you will need what you know, still the benefit of the information provided at the right place and at the right time cannot be overestimated. Even Greg’s example proves how great it is to be good at several different things at a time. Combine your major with your aspiration to do programming, and you will become a much better specialist, drawing attention of companies that need your current knowledge and are ready to teach you.

Your Reasons #3: Tech Internships and Start-Ups Do Not Require a CS Degree

What is more, these are wonderful opportunities for you to gain the required experience and learn new things in practice. Again, your education, connections and any previous experience can appear very helpful. Usually, but not always, tech start-ups are initiated by CS students and budding IT-specialists, who encourage all enthusiasts to participate. Reliable basis and knowledgeable team create especially comfortable environment for novices who understand why they decided to join.

Tech Jobs You Can and Will Get with Your Current Degree

Successful Employee at Interview

Now one of the most essential things you need is to realize that the sphere of information technology welcomes you regardless of the education you have. Of course, you will have to learn a lot of very complicated things faster than your IT-colleagues did when they studied in universities. But your interest and readiness to work will help you overcome natural fear and hesitations. It is the most difficult to start. But it is worth starting!

Business and Marketing

Both a student start-up and a big company, whatever products or services it provides, need good marketing campaign and effective business plans. So, if you study economics, or PR, or something like that and if you strive to learn technical skills, it is your chance to get into IT. Besides, if you like communicating with people and have an aptitude to persuade them, possess good analytical thinking and can build farsighted strategies, you will be a precious engagement manager or digital marketing specialist.

Social Media

Are you sure of your social literacy and interpersonal skills? Is your interest to both social media and IT great enough to make you overcome your unreasonable fear and try something different? If your answer is yes, try the jobs of social media manager or community manager! If you read their descriptions, you will see that most technical essentials (like SEO or content management) are not so difficult to learn. Probably, you are already familiar to them.

Web-Content and Web-Design

Website content and development requires very special approach. It is about real talent of writing and designing, but not only about the skill of coding. Besides, even the earliest stages of content management and website development involve lots of technical work, so you will learn very quickly. The range of jobs in this field impresses: content writer (or content manager, content producer), digital media editors, user interface and user experience designer and many more.

You will find your ideal work place if you are doing something to find it. Never give up and believe in your knowledge. Good luck!

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